From its exterior, a passer-by would be hard-pressed to believe that this terrace home is a resort-style paradise for three generations. Step inside, however, and it’s a completely different world – bright, airy and spacious with plenty of room for a supersized family.
AT A GLANCE
Who lives here: An architect couple in their 40s with their two sons – and, occasionally, both their parents
Type of home: Inter-terrace home in Hougang
Size of home: 4,088 sq ft
It was designed by owners and architects Tan Chee Yong and Rebecca Chia, who share it with their two sons and have made sure that there is more than enough room for when both of their parents stay over. “We wanted the overall feel to be simple and functional while exuding a relaxed, tropical atmosphere,” says Chee Yong.
Since both are avid swimmers, a 21m lap pool was one of the top priorities. They worked around the issue of space by placing it at the ground level and elevating everything else – including the living room and kitchen.
Although flanked by houses on both sides, the home is bright and well-ventilated, thanks to the four-storey air well that rises above the pool.
“We liked the enduring concept of the courtyard house,” shares Rebecca. The air well is the focal point in that all the rooms face it. Each has slide-and-fold window walls so it gets adequate cross-ventilation and maintains a connection to the rest of the place.
The air well also blurs the boundaries between the outdoors and indoors. Lush plants line its perimeter at each level, giving the appearance of a verdant green curtain. “We wanted our home to be in conversation with nature,” says Rebecca. The abundance of flourishing plants adds a tropical resort vibe.
The bathrooms were also designed as open-concept – or open to the sky – with a veil of greenery for privacy.
Chee Yong and Rebecca highlighted the structural elements by leaving the walls as exposed brick or concrete and the floors as bare concrete screed – a choice that seems perfectly at one with nature.
“It keeps the expression of the house true to its form and function,” shares Rebecca.
They also chose natural materials such as rattan and teak for their furniture.
The home offers plenty of spaces for privacy, including cosy nooks that overlook the air well and pool, as well as a library.
At the same time, there’s also plenty of room for gatherings and conversations, including the roof terrace, the family room, and, of course, the dining room with a 3m-long suar wood table at the back of the house.
And while they have plenty of light and space, fully adjustable aluminium pivot screens along the front and at the rear ensure privacy and control the amount of sunlight coming through.
Of all the rooms, which is the couple’s favourite? “It has to be the dining room,” says Chee Yong. “It’s always airy and bright – and it’s the heart of the home where friends and family gather.”
Love this look? Check out our picks for you below: